Former Orlando police officer will not be charged in downtown shooting last year

ORLANDO, Fla. — The State Attorney’s Office said Monday that a former Orlando police officer who fatally shot a man last year in downtown will not be formally charged.


Investigators said that Orlando police Officer Jose Velez -- who resigned in November for unrelated reasons -- fatally shot Derek Diaz on July 3 while officers were conducting a proactive patrol on Jefferson Street near North Orange Avenue.

Police said they believed Diaz was involved in drug activity.

They said Diaz did not obey their commands and “made a movement as if to retrieve a gun,” so Velez shot him to death. No weapons were found.

Read: ‘So sickening’: Derek Diaz’s family describes watching video of his downtown Orlando shooting death

The State Attorney’s Office said Monday that it will not charge Velez because an Orange County grand jury did not believe charges against the officer were legally appropriate.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the shooting and turned over its findings to the State Attorney’s Office, which requires that all deadly police shootings be presented to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges are appropriate.

The State Attorney’s Office closed the case, allowing the Orlando Police Department to conducts its own Internal Affairs investigation.

Read: Experts react to bodycam footage of Derek Diaz shooting

Orlando police Chief Eric Smith said he supports the grand jury’s decision.

Read: Derek Diaz’s family holds vigil and demands answers from OPD after an officer-involved shooting

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